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Eight Surprising Epigenetic Practices to Support Mental Healing! Part Three


A smiling brunette girl in a field of white wildflowers
Happiness is contagious-Maahid

Are you battling any kind of mental health issue? From negativity, lack of motivation, and just the "blahs' to more serious challenges like schizophrenia, dementia, or depression? Then this is the article for you!


There is hope and help for improvement in any of these situations that you are facing! Don't entertain for a moment dark thoughts or feelings that hang over you like a storm cloud. Reject them, rebuke them, and don't accept them as your own. You have the power to attack these enemies.


The dark thoughts, ideas, even voices or messages, feeling hopeless, expecting the worst to happen ... these things are lies ... lies you are believing. When you believe something, you give it great power over you. So! Let's use that fact as leverage to turn things around to your advantage.


First, I would strongly recommend reading Part One and Part Two of these articles. They lay the foundation for this ground-breaking approach to mental, as well as physical health. So let's meet back here if you need to read them first.


What are 'epigenetics'? Epi is a prefix meaning upon, on, over, and before. So we have something here that is upon, on, over, or before genetics. Today we recognize epigenetics to be those actions we can take to influence the expression of our genes. We are not slave to the genetic trends we may see in our family lines. And that is exciting news!


Now it's time to take a look at what else we can do to defeat mental illness you or someone you care about may be facing. Remember, any of these protocols that you bring onboard will push your experience toward the positive side of the spectrum.


A Ketogenic Diet



A platter of fresh keto foods
Pexels by Jane Doan

First and foremost is your diet. That is far and away the most powerful thing you can implement to change your life. To be straightforward, this diet, at its very simplest, is a daily intake of food that does not contain more than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. This intake restricts your amount of carbohydrates in order to switch your body from burning mainly glucose (from carbs) to burning ketones for fuel. Ketones are a very clean fuel preferred by the brain. Many years of solid research and data show that being in ketosis is very healing for the brain.


Sleep, Rest, and Calmness



A black baby sleeping peacefully
Pexels by Willian Fornato

Next in line, I put sleep, rest, and calmness as one unit. Why is this so important? Simply because sufficient rest and peace will bring down your cortisol levels. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that our bodies make to handle stress of all kinds. Some stress might be obvious, but some may surprise you. I know it surprised me years ago when I first learned this.


The routine, stressful slings and arrows of life are burdens we all face regularly such as paying the bills, family drama, and health issues, for example. But did you know that heavy aerobic and anaerobic exercise can be interpreted by the brain as a stressor and cause the release of cortisol?


So is this a bad thing? For our purposes, it can be. We know that high cortisol levels promote gluconeogenesis, that is, the production of glucose from amino acids. And this glucose has the same effect that dietary glucose has on insulin. Therefore, stress raises blood sugar and insulin.


The body really likes to be treated gently. We humans however seem to love to push our bodies to the extreme, thinking that it will bring even more rewards than gentle exercise. That's what I used to think! I was an aerobic dancer and runner for many years. I did three to six days a week for an hour or more each session. My way of handling extra stress or upset in my life was to work out even more. It seemed to work for a season, but eventually, it backfired on me. You can read that story in "Why Does Keto Make You Feel So Good?"


The secret here is to exercise gently. Walk briskly; don't run. If you can sing, "Old MacDonald had a farm, ee-eye, ee-eye, ohhh," without taking a breath, then you are getting enough oxygen and training lightly enough.


Lift lighter weights, not heavy ones. These will be different for each person. You can judge by noting the number of reps you can complete without strain. A feeling of resistance is good. A feeling of strain or discomfort (such as aching or pulling) is bad. Between 5 and 10 reps is a good measure depending on the muscles you are working. Go easier rather than harder, when in doubt. We are learning to be more gentle with our bodies. Gentle exercise will give you more energy, and not exhaust you. You may be used to that feeling of exhaustion. I used to feel like I wasn't finished working out until I was tired out.


So this approach to exercise is part of using epigenetics to our favor, that is, increasing restfulness and calmness, while still reaping the rewards. Back in the 80's and 90's, people used to think that the more strenuous the exercise the more the weight loss, which was usually the supreme goal. However, today we have better insight!



Video by Artem Podrez



Another source of stress you may not have considered is what you let into your eye gate and your ear gate. I'm referring to the things you look at and the things you listen to, such as your media sources: TV, books, and videos. I would encourage you to drop anything you find is making you feel tense inside. For example, I have cut out news shows, certain YouTube channels, and even novels, if they make me feel 'wound up' in a negative way.


One night I was reading a thriller novel by a very well-known author. I suddenly realized my whole body was tense and rigid, even though I was lying in bed! I asked myself, hey, what am I doing here? My heart is pounding, and my hands are clenching this book like a vise! Right then, I decided to choose peace instead. I tossed the unfinished novel into the waste paper basket.


The Bible says to let peace act as an umpire over your heart. Let Peace call the shots for you. In Philippians 4:8 we are encouraged to dwell on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy! Why? So that we will be 'anxious for nothing.'


Sleep itself is a golden tool in our epigenetic arsenal. I'll tell you how I've personally integrated more sleep into my daily routine for mental and physical health. I take a nap every day around 3--4 pm. I feel my body growing sleepy at that time. Instead of fighting that feeling with coffee and other stimulants, I listen to it and lie down when possible. Whether I fall asleep or just rest with eyes closed, I feel rejuvenated when I get up.


Of course this is a personal thing. It depends on age, adrenal health, and your current work and life situation. If you can't take a 'real nap' still try to take 15-30 minutes to get away to a quiet, private place where you can lay back and close your eyes.


A half-hour of quiet rest in a darkened room, or even your car on lunch break, can be beneficial. If you fall asleep, even better. If you have the luxury, try to wake up naturally without an alarm. If not, then an alarm can give you the peace of mind that you won't oversleep, thereby helping your brain to let go and relax! When you do wake up, allow yourself time to come fully awake. Again, practice gentility and kindness to your physical person.


Here is another suggestion if you happen to see or hear something that suddenly upsets you. Instantly take charge of your thoughts. We can't stop these things from happening in life, but we can practice taking control of our reactions with a deep breath and lifting our thoughts to the God who loves us and cares for us. He will supply all our needs and protect us from all harm if we trust Him.


Regarding sleep, I go to bed at least one hour earlier now. That, too, is a choice I had to make. It does cut down the time I can spend with my husband at night just talking and relaxing, but I feel the choice I've made raises our overall quality of life. If I'm healthier and happier, then I'm a better lifemate in every area.


Couple walks happily together holding hands
Quality time with loved ones matters -Image by Pexels from Pixabay

I know many of you will not be able to take an afternoon break and go to bed earlier. Changing your schedule will take deliberate action to allow this extra rest. Remember you are healing your mind and body. This is important for you right now. If you find your mind running over all the problems and issues you have in your life when you try to get quiet, then distract it by listening to a quiet YouTube or podcast on your phone that you find soothing or interesting.


Finally, concerning this protocol of sleep, calmness, and rest, guard your heart from any kind of upset that is in your power to block. A huge source of stress is a toxic relationship. Pray for them and limit contact with them, or cut them out completely. It doesn't mean you don't love or care about them. You are showing them you do care by not allowing them to behave badly. And you are showing love and kindness to yourself when you do these things that will help you grow strong.


Love and protect yourself first. If you don't, who will? In some cases this will be a goal to work towards, as some of these situations can't be changed overnight. But take all the steps you can.


The biggest and best step you can take towards anyone who has hurt you is ... to forgive them! Think about it. That puts you in a level above them, and not just in the same boxing ring exchanging harmful jabs.


If you can look at them objectively and see them as damaged individuals who are lashing out because they have been hurt, well, maybe you can even find pity for them. Just taking back your power and establishing boundaries will begin your healing in these cases. I love the book, Boundaries, by Dr. Henry Cloud as an eye-opening exploration of just how much we allow people to disrespect us, and how to handle it with self-respect, grace, and firmness.


The Sun and Circadian Rhythm



Sunset over the water with boat
We are linked to the sun! - Nuno Obey for Pexels

In a perfect world, we would all wake up and begin our day at sunrise. We would let the light of the sun into our eyes for a few minutes every morning and enjoy its rays. Later, as the sun went down, we would wrap up our day knowing that when the night comes, ..."no man can work." Instead, we would have dinner before sunset, and then go to bed at full dark.


Going to bed on an empty stomach like this allows a deeper, more restful sleep. Make it a goal if you're not entirely ready for this. Living in ketosis with its appetite-dampening effect made this routine very easy for me. It happened almost automatically. It can for you too!


Our brains are programmed to desire to sleep when night comes, and to wake up at daybreak. This programming is powered by the release of the appropriate hormones: cortisol to wake us up and melatonin to put us to sleep. Our internal clocks follow the circuit of the Sun. The more we work with this built-in program, the better we feel.


Supplements and Epigenetics



A hand holding a varied collection of vitamins
Take your vitamins! Pexels by Anna Svets

When I take my vitamins, I make sure I've got the whole alphabet. Well, not the entire alphabet, but it does go in order from A--Z. Let me show you:


A+D softgels by Carlson


B Complex by Garden of Life


Benfotianmine by Life Extension


C Complex by Garden of Life


D3 + K2 softgels by Science Research


E Complex -- Toco-Sorb by Jarrow


Fatty Acids -- Omega 3's from fermented Cod Liver Oil, with concentrated Butter Oil by Green Pastures


Iodine by J.Crow's Lugol Solution 2%


K2 (as above)


Minerals, Daily Liquid by KetoChow


Q10 (Raw) by Garden of Life


Zinc capsules by Vitamin Shoppe


I take these for immune support, general health, and energy -- both mental and physical. It's like spackling a wall. It fills in the little missing spots as well as the bigger holes and cracks in my dietary nutrition.


Here are the benefits:


A+D -- Protects the mucous membranes of the body, anti-viral, skin nourishing and softening. I also take it to protect the lining of the bladder by blocking bacteria from causing bladder infections.


B Complex -- necessary for the body to produce energy. It elevates mood, outlook, and motivation. Deficiencies can cause serious problems. B1 is especially necessary for mental health. The Bs are water soluble and need to be replenished daily.


Benfotiamine is a lab-created, wonderful form of vitamin B1 that crosses the blood/brain barrier easily. It's fat-soluble -- a rarity for B vitamins! Everyone loves the amazing sense of well-being and mental focus it gives them. I love it and never skip it! A day with 'Benfo' is better than a day without!


C Complex -- An antioxidant that has 300 metabolic funtions in the body. Important for tissue growth and repair, adrenal function, healthy gums, antistress hormones, interferon (an important immune system protein) and so much more! Vitamin C needs its own book! (and there are plenty!)


D3+K2 -- D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin that also acts as a hormone. It has too many functions in the body to name here. It's required for absorption of calcium and phosphorus. It's needed for the growth of bones and teeth, muscle strength, regular heartbeat, thyroid function, and blood clotting, too. It fights all kinds of diseases from cancer to shingles!


K2 works with D3 and tells calcium where to go in the body. Without K2, calcium can be deposited in all the wrong places from the kidneys, to arterial linings, to tooth tartar, and bone spurs! K2 is important for blood clotting, bone formation, liver function, and preventing cancer in organ linings. It's best to take D3 and K2 together.


E Complex is an antioxidant complex that helps prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. It helps with circulation, premenstrual syndrome, reduces blood pressure, and helps prevent cataracts, just to name a few. It's a natural blood thinner, too.


The fatty acids, omega 3's and omega 6's, are essential (meaning the body can't make them; they must come from the diet or a supplement). However, it is easy to get the omega 6's in the diet. I supplement the omega 3's with cod liver oil. Fatty acids are found in high concentrations in the brain, and fish oils have been known to help heal damaged brains. They are also very important for a great variety of things including growth and development, as well as beautiful skin, hair, and nails.


Cod liver oil is also a source of vitamins A and D. I call this supplement my Dentist in a Bottle! It is very healing for teeth. If you have problems with your teeth start taking this today. You can avoid the dentist completely following the wisdom from this amazing book, Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel. I read this book many years ago and can testify, it works!


KetoChow Daily Minerals is specially formulated for those on a Keto, Paleo, Vegan, or Kosher diet. No sweeteners or flavorings. This liquid supplement is a convenient source of all the necessary trace minerals, potassium, and sodium. Especially on Keto or Carnivore, we need a good supplement for potassium to help provide the over 4000 mgs. that we need daily. KetoChow Daily Minerals makes this so easy! One gulp, and you're covered for the day!


Iodine is a trace mineral that helps with metabolism, physical and mental development, and thyroid health. Found in KetoChow Daily Minerals, seafood, and sea salt.


Q10 -- (CoQ10) It's good for cardiovascular health. It boosts energy, and strengthens the immune system.


Zinc is known for prostate health, skin health (may prevent acne), protein and collagen formation, boosting the immune system, and healing of wounds. It's very important for acuity of taste and smell, fighting viruses, and so much more!


Note: Vitamins are easily destroyed by heating them. Another reason to use supplements! Minerals however are less affected.


Vitamin, mineral, and supplement information was taken in large part from my trusted old favorite reference, Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC, and James F. Balch, MD.


Water

How is water important to epigenetics? Well, I would venture to say many people just do not drink enough clean, healthy water each day. This causes dehydration. Even slight dehydration can cut your energy and interfere with bodily functions. For me, this led to aching kidneys on keto. Crystals can form in the kidneys when we don't flush them out with enough water. It is a basic essential of good health for the body.


Remember, everything is connected to everything when it comes to brain and body health. Water fights fatigue and is necessary for good digestion! Drink water with every meal, and please have at least 2.5 liters per day or six 16oz. bottles per day. For more about kidneys and keto please read You Can Clear Keto Landmines with These 9 Power Tools + 7 Bonus Tips


Toxins

Toxins here means anything that works toward ill health in the body. Your daily life needs to be free of all toxins for good mental and physical health.


I specifically mean that it is necessary to stop your exposure to nicotine, alcohol, street drugs, and marijuana. I also include prescription drugs and over-the-counter medication unless your doctor says they are vital for you. Also, it is very important to eliminate the poisons known as sugar, MSG, and sugar alcohols. And please limit your exposure to microwaves and other radiation.


Purpose in Life

Dr. Christopher Palmer, PhD, author of the best-seller, Brain Energy, emphasizes the need for each person to have a sense of purpose in their lives. Studies show that a low sense of purpose in life is associated with depression and metabolic disorders. The reverse is also true! Having a fulfilling life purpose is necessary for people to be happy and healthy.


In Brain Energy, Dr. Palmer shares the story of Sarah (paraphrased below), who was already facing mental health challenges at the age of seventeen. The deck looked like it was stacked against her.


She struggled with ADHD, learning disabilities, anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, depression, low self-esteem, migraines, and stomach pains.


Things changed for Sarah when she discovered Pilates. She started to exercise regularly, and many of her symptoms began to abate. She got a job at her Pilates studio, and she started helping others to improve their health. She also made new friends, including a boyfriend! Having a new purpose in life, as well as finding stress reduction and social support turned her life around. She was able to get off all her medication except the one she still took for ADHD.


These life factors: supplements, sleep, water, elimination of toxins, purpose in life, forgiveness, sunshine, circadian rhythm, and gentle exercise are epigenetic practices anyone can do.


Add these to your ketone-producing diet of 20 grams of carbs (or less) daily, and you will see improvement in your mental wellness, or that of a friend or loved one!


Never give up; never surrender!



Young brunette congratulating success with her boyfriend
You Can Do It! Pexels by Andres Ayrton


 

1. Dr. Christopher Palmer, Brain Energy: Dallas, TX, BenBella Books, Inc., 2022, pp.

285–286.


 

The above article contains affiliate links for Brain Energy, Cure Tooth Decay, and Prescription for Nutritional Healing. Thank you for your support.

 

Please visit my websites www.mentalhealingwithcarnivore.com or www.christianlifecoach.love for more information. To talk to the author, Julian Palumbo, please leave a message, or voicemail at 484 - 206 - 5126. Thank you!




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